The 2008-09 season was Kessel's third in the league and he had scored 36 goals and 60 points, 17 more goals and 23 more points than his previous best.
He was expected to do even better.
In two years on the Maple Leafs, Kessel has yet to score as many goals, although he's come close, with 30 and 32 the past two seasons.
He did have a career year in points last year though, with 64.
So the question remains: how will Kessel perform this year? And if he gets off to a slow start this year, will the Leafs consider moving him?
It seems unlikely, but it could become a possibility. Plus, there could be plenty of teams interested in making a deal, expecting that he could perform better with a different supporting cast.
Here are seven teams that could potentially become suitors.
Trade rumors and speculation have had the Detroit Red Wings seeking a top-six forward, which they have yet to find.
Kessel could become a target for the team, especially if they could get him for almost a steal—a possibility if he doesn't perform well.
After all, Detroit has a way of bringing out the best in players and Kessel could finally meet his new potential under Mike Babcock and company.
The Edmonton Oilers may lose their top winger, Ales Hemsky. Hemsky is set to become a free agent and his name has been involved in trade rumors for quite awhile now.
If they lose Hemsky, they may look for another forward to take his place.
Perhaps that could be Kessel.
They may have found that in James Neal, who was acquired last season from the Dallas Stars, but they're waiting for Crosby to return to see if the chemistry is there.
If not, perhaps they'll start looking for another option.
A Kessel-Crosby combination could be very interesting.
In the offseason, the Dallas Stars parted ways with their top offensive weapon, Brad Richards.
Even though they still have Loui Eriksson, the team could use another offensive threat.
While Kessel is not a center to replace Richards, he could garner some attention considering that he's still young and could still reach his potential.
The Winnipeg Jets are a team that could use some star power and a forward with the potential of scoring a lot of goals and points.
Kessel could easily become their leading point and goal scorer, considering his 32 goals and 64 points last year.
The franchise's top scorer last year was Andrew Ladd, with 29 goals and 59 points as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers.
Kessel could be a good target.
The Colorado Avalanche have some great core players, such as forwards Paul Stastny and Matt Duchene.
However, what they could still use is a good winger to play alongside Duchene.
Perhaps Kessel could fit that bill.
The Los Angeles Kings added a few great pieces to their roster this season with forwards Mike Richards, Simon Gagne and Ethan Moreau.
They could still use a talented young winger though, and Kessel fits that description.
Perhaps the warm California air could inspire and create a better Kessel. It could work out very well for him and the Kings.